Reclamation invites public review of draft FONSI for the Yuma Desalting Plant pilot run

Media Contact: Ed Virden , (928) 343-8109
Bob Walsh , (702) 293 8421

For Release: August 26, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, has developed a draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a proposed pilot run of the Yuma Desalting Plant (YDP).

The proposed pilot run would commence in early 2010, and the plant would be run for 365 days at one-third capacity over a 12 to 18 month period. During this pilot run, the plant will produce an average of about 19.8 million gallons (61 acre-feet) of desalinated water per day. This water will be discharged to the Colorado River near the U.S./Mexico international border for inclusion in Treaty-required water deliveries to Mexico.

Over the course of the pilot run, approximately 29,000 acre feet of water (about 9.5 billion gallons) will be discharged to the river. This will consist of about 22,400 acre-feet of desalted water, and approximately 7,000 acre-feet of untreated irrigation drainage water. (There are 325,851 gallons of water in an acre foot, which is enough to meet the annual needs of a family of four to six people.)

Reclamation invites public review and consideration on the draft FONSI. The public review period is open for 30 calendar days, until close of business on September 28. A copy of the final environmental assessment and draft FONSI can be downloaded from Reclamation's Yuma Area Office website, at:

Questions should be directed to Mr. Ed Virden, Assistant Area Manager at the Yuma Area Office. Mr. Virden's contact information is: Yuma Area Office, 7301 Calle Agua Salada, Yuma, AZ 85364; email:; and Office fax: 928 343 8320. Comments must be submitted in writing via U.S. mail, e-mail, or fax, and must include personal identifying information of the submitter.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.